About me Data viz quiz Final project
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photo of Erin smiling
Photo by Simon Gorsak

My name is Erin. This website is a class project for DH520, a course in Javascript and d3 in Digital Humanities at the University of Alberta on Treaty 6 territory.

I'm a master's candidate in Digital Humanities, specializing in Gender & Social Justice Studies. I'm also the Wikipedian in Residence for the University of Alberta Library. Edmonton is my birthplace — I lived here until I was 14 — but I have been living in Hamilton for the last two decades, on traditional territory of the Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee, and Neutral peoples. My undergraduate degree (2008) is from the Arts & Science Program at McMaster University and I have a master's degree (2016) in Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership from Carleton University.

Before returning to graduate studies at U of A, I worked for 10 years in fundraising and alumni communications, first at McMaster University and most recently at Wilfrid Laurier University as Advancement Communications Manager. While living in Hamilton, I started the local chapter of Canada Learning Code. Now in Edmonton, I'm continuing my work with them as Teens Learning Code lead for the city. I am also the founder of the feminist collective Broad Conversations, and have solid experience with nonprofit organizing and board work.

My current research interests revolve around investigating the online structures and networks that facilitate, encourage, or even necessitate apathy. Social networks and general online navigation are increasingly driven by algorithms which use our past behaviour to reveal a virtual world that reflects our own values and opinions; unless we seek it out, we are unlikely to encounter alternative viewpoints. Particularly troubling examples of this algorithmic confirmation bias include the far-right movement and incel culture. I am curious to explore how we can work against this isolating aspect of internet construction and foster positive, productive knowledge exchange online.